Bradley v. City of St. Louis Carnahan Court Building et al
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER : IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiff's motion to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc. 3] is GRANTED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff shall pay an initial filing fee of $0.21 within thirty (30) days of the date o f this Order. Plaintiff is instructed to make his remittance payable to "Clerk, United States District Court," and to include upon it: (1) his name; (2) his prison registration number; (3) the case number; and ( 4) that the remittance i s for an original proceeding. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief [Doc. 2] is DENIED AS MOOT. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B). An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order.. Signed by District Judge John A. Ross on 1/12/15. (LGK)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI
No. 4:14CV2112 JAR
CITY OF ST. LOUIS COURT BLDG, et al.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court upon the motion of Cory Bradley (registration no. 6738),
an inmate at St. Louis City Justice Center, for leave to commence this action without payment of
the required filing fee. For the reasons stated below, the Court finds that plaintiff does not have
sufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee and will assess an initial partial filing fee of $0.21.
See 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(l). Furthermore, based upon a review of the complaint, the Court finds
that the complaint should be dismissed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
28 u.s.c. § 1915(b)(l)
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(l), a prisoner bringing a civil action in forma pauperis is
required to pay the full amount of the filing fee. If the prisoner has insufficient funds in his or
her prison account to pay the entire fee, the Court must assess and, when funds exist, collect an
initial partial filing fee of 20 percent of the greater of (1) the average monthly deposits in the
prisoner's account, or (2) the average monthly balance in the prisoner's account for the prior sixmonth period. After payment of the initial partial filing fee, the prisoner is required to make
monthly payments of 20 percent of the preceding month's income credited to the prisoner's
account. 28 U.S.C. § 1915(b)(2). The agency having custody of the prisoner will forward t!lese
monthly payments to the Clerk of Court each time the amount in the prisoner's account exceeds
$10, until the filing fee is fully paid. Id.
Plaintiff has submitted an affidavit and a certified copy of his prison account statement
for the six-month
immediately preceding the submission of his complaint. A review of
plaintiffs account indicates an average monthly deposit of $0.00, and an average monthly
balance of $1.06. Plaintiff has insufficient funds to pay the entire filing fee. Accordingly, the
Court will assess an initial partial filing fee of $0.21, which is 20 percent of plaintiffs average
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B), the Court must dismiss a complaint filed in forma
pauperis if the action is frivolous, malicious, fails to state a claim upon which relief can be
granted, or seeks monetary relief from a defendant who is immune from such relief. An action is
frivolous if it "lacks an arguable basis in either law or fact." Neitzke v. Williams, 490 U.S. 319,
328 (1989); Denton v. Hernandez, 504 U.S. 25, 31 (1992).
An action is malicious if it is
undertaken for the purpose of harassing the named defendants and not for· the purpose of
vindicating a cognizable right. Spencer v. Rhodes, 656 F. Supp. 458, 461-63 (E.D.N.C. 1987),
aff'd 826 F .2d 1059 (4th Cir. 1987). A complaint fails to state a claim if it does not plead
"enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face." Bell Atlantic Corp. v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570 (2007).
Plaintiff brings this action under 42 U .S.C. § 1983 alleging violations of his civil rights.
Named as defendants are: the City of St. Louis Carnahan Court Building; Theresa Counts Burke
(Judge); Bryan Hettenbach (Judge); City of St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department; U.S.
Department of Justice; and Jennifer Joyce (Prosecutor).
Plaintiff alleges that he is a "Private living breathing man/citizen of the United States."
He claims that the Carnahan Courthouse "as an entity" has infringed upon his 8th and 9th
Amendment rights "by coming against him as a living, breathing man."
Plaintiff alleges that Judge Burke and Judge Hettenbach have wrongfully charged him a
criminal bond, and he asserts that they acted in violation of his rights when they denied his
motion to reduce his bond.
Plaintiff states that Prosecutor Joyce acted unlawfully by allegedly using his name and
social security number without his permission in the prosecution of his criminal action.
Plaintiff asserts that the St. Louis Police Department violated his rights as a "living,
breathing man" when they executed a warrant against him and "detained his body."
Plaintiff claims that the U.S. Department of Justice violated his rights by "failing to
protect his rights" under the Federal Tort Claims Act when he mailed the government
administrative forms and they failed to respond in what he perceived to be a timely manner.
In his exhibits, plaintiff has filed several papers typical of the "sovereign citizens"
movement, which have no actual meaning.
The complaint brought before this Court is wholly frivolous and subject to dismissal,
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Section 1983 imposes liability on state actors for
violations of the Constitution or laws of the United States. To establish a prima facie case under
42 U.S.C. § 1983, a plaintiff must allege two elements: (1) the action occurred "under color of
law" and (2) the action is a deprivation of a constitutional right or a federal statutory right.
Parratt v. Taylor, 451 U.S. 527, 535 (1981).
Plaintiffs complaint lacks the foundational
elements necessary to assert claims under § 1983 against the named defendants.
Instead, plaintiffs pleading is filled with frivolous anti-government rhetoric typical to
"sovereign" or "redemption" movements that use commercial laws to terrorize their targets. See,
e.g., United States v. Benabe, 654 F.3d 753, 761-67 (7th Cir.2011) (describing the conduct of
another "sovereign citizen" and collecting cases rejecting the group's claims as frivolous). He
mentions the Federal Tort Claims Act and attempts to assert a frivolous claim against the
Department of Justice. Additionally, he references sanctioning defendants through Joint House
Resolution 192)2) June 5, 1933 Public Law 73-10, he asserts that defendants should be held
liable under the Fair Debt Collection Act, he asserts that his criminal case is a "taxable
transaction predicated on the sale of bonds," he asserts that defendants are acting in "securities
fraud" against him, and he complains that the Department of Justice has not acted quickly
enough on an administrative review of his letter to them complaining about a breach under the
Federal Tort Claim Act. This commercial-law rhetoric cannot suffice to build a civil rights case
against defendants. Id. As such, defendants case will be dismissed as patently frivolous under
28 U.S.C. § 1915(e)(2)(B).
Moreover, plaintiff has brought claims against the prosecutor who charged him, the
police department who arrested him and the judges whom arraigned him; however, none of these
defendants can be held liable for the farfetched allegations plaintiff has articulated before this
Court. See, e.g., Ketchum v. City of West Memphis, Ark., 974 F.2d 81, 82 (8th Cir. 1992)
(departments or subdivisions of local government, such as police departments, are "not juridical
entities suable as such."); Brodnicki v. City of Omaha, 75 F.3d 1261, 1266 (8th Cir. 1996) (where
"the prosecutor is acting as advocate for the state in a criminal prosecution, the prosecutor is
entitled to absolute immunity"); Penn v. United States, 335 F.3d 786, 789 (8th Cir. 2003) Gudge
"entitled to absolute immunity for all judicial actions that are not 'taken in a complete absence of
all jurisdiction"). This is but further evidence of the frivolity of the present action, and plaintiff
is not truly seeking to vindicate a cognizable right in his claims.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that plaintiffs motion to proceed in forma pauperis [Doc.
#3] is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the plaintiff shall pay an initial filing fee of $0.21
within thirty (30) days of the date of this Order. Plaintiff is instructed to make his remittance
payable to "Clerk, United States District Court," and to include upon it: (1) his name; (2) his
prison registration number; (3) the case number; and (4) that the remittance is for an original
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiff's motion for injunctive relief [Doc. #2] is
DENIED AS MOOT.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this action is DISMISSED pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
An Order of Dismissal will accompany this Memorandum and Order.
Dated this J.1Z::... day of January, 2015.
D STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?